My Smartest Financial Decision and How to Win $5,000!
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Alliant Credit Union. The opinions and text are all mine.
My college years were some of the best of my life. I made friendships that I still carry today and through that eventually met my lovely wife. However, there was a glaring black mark on my college years – I graduated with $50,000 in debt.
At the end of my rope and less than a year out of college, I faced something I thought would solve all my problems.
That solution was bankruptcy. I thought bankruptcy would give me the blank slate I needed to succeed.
The Story Doesn’t End There
I’ve shared this story many times on the site. Literally, at the brink of bankruptcy, a roommate challenged my thinking. I was looking for the easy way out, and he said that was no way to go about solving my problem.
Left with no other choice, I met with a debt counselor who helped me get on the straight and narrow. Not declaring bankruptcy is the smartest financial decision I ever made. It wasn’t easy and required five years of sacrificing to eventually kill my debt.
Making that one choice is why I’m here today. It helped me learn the importance of paying off debt, tracking my spending, finding ways to grow my money and so many other important things related to becoming financially stable.
Fast-forward 15 years and it’s this decision that has put our family where we are today. It’s why we’re able to live a debt free life, max out our Solo 401(k) plan each year and much more.
The Power of Making Wise Money Decisions
It’s not completely fair to say that our lives now are the result of one singular decision. Yes, it was pivotal and it was a definite turning point in my and, by extension, our family’s, financial life. However, it also spurred numerous smaller decisions that have helped us achieve important personal and financial goals.
In short, a change in mindset flowed from this one decision that helps guide our decisions today to live a life free of the shackles of debt and in pursuit of financial freedom. That impacts how we raise our children – to be financially confident and make wise decisions as they get older.
Take a look back over your life and consider how wise financial decisions have impacted you. Yes, the major ones do impact your life for years to come. They also guide the ones you make now to help guide you towards the life you want.
Maybe it was choosing to pay off debt. Maybe it was buying a car in cash to avoid a nasty car payment. Maybe it’s canceling cable, so you have the money to take a vacation each year.
Whatever the decision(s) they help you gain confidence that you can control your money and not the other way around. That’s incredibly empowering and life-changing.
It’s Time to Win Some Money
I’ve teamed with Alliant Credit Union to encourage readers to think about positive financial decisions they’ve made in the past and currently. As one of the largest credit unions in the U.S., Alliant places a high value on those who make smart money choices because they know what a positive impact those decisions make on people’s lives.
As a part of this partnership, Alliant Credit Union is giving away $5,000 to one lucky reader who shares the smartest financial decision they’ve ever made. Just make sure to enter by June 18 by 11:59 P.M. EST.
More Chances to Win!
The possibility of rewarding yourself doesn’t end with sharing your smartest money decision for the $5,000 prize. Once you submit your smartest money decision, you’re given the chance to refer friends or family to share their smart money decisions too.
If two of them use your referral link, you are entered for another chance to win money – this time, a $500 referral bonus. Refer friends and family by sharing your referral link with #SmartMoney on social media and you could win!
Since we’re on the topic of making smart financial decisions, it’s worth mentioning that $5,000 can go a long way to help you make your next great financial decision.
Should you win, you could use the money to pay off debt, nearly max out your retirement account this year, save for a down payment on a house, or more. The possibilities are endless!
What’s the smartest money decision you’ve ever made? How has that decision impacted your life? What would you do if you won $5,000?
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.